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The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Juls, Busiswa, Davido, Nasty C, Olamide, Ethic, Bobi Wine and more

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.



Juls 'Soweto Blues' feat. Busiswa and Jaz Karis

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint. The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

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Nasty C 'There They Go'

Nasty C has inked a deal with Def Jam Recordings. The South African rapper signed exclusive deal with the legendary hip-hop label through a joint venture with Universal Music Africa, Nasty C's home in South Africa. To announce the signing, the rapper and the label released a new single by the lyricist. Titled "There They Go," is the first single from Nasty C's upcoming album Zulu Man With Some Power.

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Davido, The Flowolf, Peruzzi, Dremo 'Mafa Mafa'

Now is a better time than ever to take in new music, and thankfully, some of our favorite artists have been delivering. Nigerian stars Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf inked up for the new collaborative track "Mafa Mafa," under Davido's record label DMW, which launched back in 2018. The song features mostly rapping as the artists trade verses back and forth in Yoruba. "Mafa" is a Yoruba saying that loosely translates to "don't pull it."

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Ethic 'Quarantei'

Trust Kenya's Ethic Entertainment to turn a world crisis into a club-ready banger. The Gengetone's collective released their new single "Quarantei" a few days ago and it certainly encourages us to continue partying while we stay isolated at home.

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Bobi Wine & Nubian Li 'Corona Virus Alert'

Ugandan artist and activist Bobi Wine released a song to raise awareness around the growing coronavirus outbreak. He teamed up with fellow Ugandan musician Nubian Li to spread the message of the importance of personal hygiene and social distancing. In the song Bobi Wine sings, "The bad news is that everyone is a potential victim but the good news is that everyone is a potential solution/Sensitise the masses to sanitise/Keep a social distance and quarantine."

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MUZI 'Sondela Forever'

"Sondela Forever," the remix to "Sondela" from MUZI's current album ZENO, features keys by Chris Martin. Muzi fell onto Chris Martin's radar after the South African producer and artist released a remix of Coldplay's "Orphans" in 2019. The Coldplay frontman then sent MUZI a short piano rendition of "Sondela" which is one of his favourite songs on ZENO. MUZI then added vocals and sent the track back to Martin who loved it so much he suggested the song be released.

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Dice Ailes 'Pim Pim' feat Olamide

Dice Ailes comes through with a hypnotizing head-nodder in "Pim Pim," featuring fellow Nigerian act Olamide.

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Simmy 'Ngihamba Nawe' ft. Sino Msolo

South African singer Simmy, real name Simphiwe Nhlangulela, has just released her latest single "Ngihamba Nawe." She features fellow South African artist Sino Msolo on the track which is a follow-up to her 2018 debut album Tugela Fairy. The now gold-certified album featured chart toppers including "Umahlalela", "Ngiyesaba" and "Lashona Ilanga."

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Johnny Drille 'Something Better' 

Mavin Records singer Johnny Drille has released his first single for the year 2020, titled "Something Better." The song is an uplifting pop progression for your days indoors.

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Sound Sultan '8th Wondah'

Sound Sultan recently dropped his 8th studio album titled 8th Wondah. The 17-track album is the follow-up to his 2016 album titled "Out of the Box" and features fellow Nigerian artists 2Baba, Wizkid, Teni, Falz, Mr Real, Olu Maintai, Peruzzi, Small Doctor and Johnny Drille.

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Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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